A staggering 67% of those aged 65 or older have read a book of some variety in the last 12 months, according to research from the Pew Research Center. Reading is not only a great way to pass the time, it can also greatly benefit senior’s mental and cognitive abilities.
If you love reading, you’ll be happy to learn that it can give you a longer life. A longer life means more time for reading. A study conducted by researchers at Yale complied over 12 years of data and concluded that those that read 3.5 hours or more a week lived 23 months longer than those that did not read as much or at all. That equates to almost two extra years of life, just by reading. But, that’s not the only thing that reading can do for you.
Improves Skills and Prevents Cognitive Impairments
Reading can help with improving vocabulary, reasoning, concentration, and critical thinking skills. Despite being something you typically do alone, reading has been shown to improve social skills by increasing your ability to empathize and honing your emotional intelligence.
For seniors, if the above benefits of reading weren’t enough, there’s more! Reading has a way of exercising and enhancing memory and recall abilities. It does this by strengthening your neural network and helping your mind become more apt to learning. This helps retain memories. So, as you can imagine, the same can be said for those worried about dementia.
In general, research has shown that any brain-challenging activity has a way of building up a reserve of neuronal connectors in your brain. The more connectors one has, the harder it is for dementia to do enough damage to the brain to show symptoms. So, in a way, reading can ultimately delay the onset of dementia and other cognitive impairments.
Reading is also a great way to reduce stress. The mind can easily get overwhelmed with the troubles or anticipations of a day. Reading takes so much focus and concentration that it only takes about six minutes for heart rates to slow and muscle tension to relax, whereas listening to music or taking a walk took almost double that amount of time.
Seniors can sometimes have trouble with their sleep, whether it’s falling asleep or staying asleep. Reading, specifically in bed, has been shown to be a surefire way to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. This differs entirely from watching TV or using an electronic device. In fact, the subtle blue hue of electronics have been shown to keep people awake longer and prevent a good quality of sleep from taking place. Reading can set the mood for bedtime, by providing a sort of exercise for your eyes and mind that can help send you to the land of dreams.
When it comes to the different ways that people ingest books, reading a print book or an e-ink electronic e-reader is the best way with the most benefits. Following behind that are those that listen to audio books. Yes, that’s right. Audio books have similar benefits to reading, although the benefits aren’t as substantial, but still droves ahead of those that read nothing.
If you live in a Bonaventure Senior Living community then you’re in luck! Besides having great food, amazing activities, and some of the nicest suites available, just about all of our communities offer an extensive library of books that residents can read. So go ahead and pick up a book. Not only will you likely enjoy what you read, you may also gain some pretty good benefits from it as well.
Bonaventure Senior Living
At Bonaventure Senior Living, we have Retirement Perfected, Living Perfected, Dining Perfected, and Fitness Perfected. The best way to see for yourself is to Book-A-Tour today and discover how you can live life on your own terms. We specialize in Independent Living, Assisted Living, and Memory Care, that way, no matter what your current situation is, we have all levels of care covered if your needs ever change.
With Independent Living, we want you to enjoy Simplified Living, allowing you to have the freedom to do what makes you happy. Our Independent Living is designed to accommodate the exceptional senior lifestyle that you’ve earned. What’s even better, is that with Independent Living we offer whatever supportive services that you may need at any time you may need them. Now that’s Retirement Perfected.
Assisted Living at Bonaventure Senior Living is simple: all the lifestyle benefits of our Independent Living, but with any extra support that you may need. Our philosophy is based on three simple things: choice, independence, and dignity. Now that’s Assisted Living at its finest.
Every senior is a unique person, and our Memory Care approach is no different. We tailor our Memory Care by connecting with family members and taking time to understand each person’s specific circumstances. This includes mental, emotional, and physical health. Our Memory Care creates an honorable and professional plan to make sure that each person lives their life to the fullest. That’s the way Memory Care should be.